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Want to see why your bill was so high?

By AlexanderWatson - 10 September 2013 13

Heat Loss Detection of the House with Infrared Thermal Camera
We’ve just come out of one of the warmest Winters on record but many Canberrans wouldn’t know it after receiving their energy bills. Even in warmer Winters, houses that leak heat need their heater working overtime. Chances are, if your house struggled to retain heat this Winter, it’s going to have a hard time keeping the heat out this Summer. Using a thermal camera to find out exactly where heat enters and escapes your home, you can make some simple improvements to be warmer in Winter, cooler in Summer and save money on your energy bills.

Read on to find out how, during September, RiotACT readers can get a free thermal imaging assessment of their home.

Here’s the 5 most common areas that Alexander Watson’s thermal camera finds heat leaking and how to fix them in your home.

Gaps around doors – Visit the draught proofing isle at Bunnings and seal up gaps around doors. Every external door should have a weather seal at the bottom and foam around the frame to keep the heat inside in Winter and outside in Summer.
Gaps in ceiling insulation – Only a 5% gap in your ceiling insulation can reduce its performance by up to 50%! Its not a nice job, but spending the weekend filling in all the gaps in your insulation makes an enormous difference. Keep an eye out for gap prone areas around heating and cooling vents, in tight corners and over the manhole.
Uncovered downlights – Downlights without covers are not only a fire risk, they also act like a chimney for heat into your ceiling and leave a massive gap in your insulation. A UK company called Tenmat have a fire rated cover that seals off the downlight and allows insulation to completely cover the light so there are no gaps whatsoever in your insulation. You can buy them online at www.downlightcovers.com.au
Exhaust fans – Having an uncovered exhaust fan is like leaving a window open all year round. Look for a nifty product called a DraftStoppa at Bunnings that fits straight over your fan – it stays closed when the fan is off and opens up automatically when the fan turns on.
Ceiling and Wall Vents – These are still found in older homes built in the days of unflued gas and wood fired heaters. These days they serve no purpose other than allowing heat to escape in Winter and enter in Summer. Seal them up with foam gap filler rod and paintable gap filler or even remove them completely and patch the plaster.

Want to see what the thermal camera picks up in your home?

It’s easy to get a thermal camera in for a look at your home. Book a thermal imaging assessment with the energy efficiency experts at Alexander Watson today and find out exactly where your home leaks heat. Usually costing $99, during September RiotACT readers can book an assessment for free by clicking this link.

Alexander Watson’s thermal imaging assessments are full of handy DIY tips and also include an obligation free quote for any recommended improvements that the camera picks up. Make your home comfortable, slash your energy bills and contact Alexander Watson Energy Efficiency today.

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13 Responses to
Want to see why your bill was so high?
AlexanderWatson 9:45 am 20 Sep 13

GardeningGirl said :

Mothy said :

Do you guys come out and seal up windows? I’ve noticed a bunch of gaps around our aluminum frame windows – i.e. after the glass has been inserted, the plastic bits that hold it in place and seal the little gaps around the frame don’t all meet up so there are some windows that are quite drafty.

If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, we have the same problem, the plastic strips simply haven’t been measured and cut with any care and some are ridiculously short of the required length. I believe you can buy replacement strips and measure them properly but I don’t know how tricky of a job it is to prise the old ones out and put the news ones in. Does anyone know if there’s a generic type available or do you have to get them from the window manufacturer?

You can get a glazier to put new strips in though most of the time we find aluminium windows leaking because the frames have warped or the brush strip seals have worn out. Warped frames = new window time but replacing the brush stripping is pretty straight forward if that’s all that’s wrong.

GardeningGirl 11:23 pm 19 Sep 13

Mothy said :

Do you guys come out and seal up windows? I’ve noticed a bunch of gaps around our aluminum frame windows – i.e. after the glass has been inserted, the plastic bits that hold it in place and seal the little gaps around the frame don’t all meet up so there are some windows that are quite drafty.

If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, we have the same problem, the plastic strips simply haven’t been measured and cut with any care and some are ridiculously short of the required length. I believe you can buy replacement strips and measure them properly but I don’t know how tricky of a job it is to prise the old ones out and put the news ones in. Does anyone know if there’s a generic type available or do you have to get them from the window manufacturer?

AlexanderWatson 10:59 pm 19 Sep 13

For more DIY draught proofing tips there’s also a great website run by ex Carbon Cops presenter Lish Fejer. Have a look at http://greenityourself.com.au/topics/draught-proofing

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 9:46 pm 13 Sep 13

Mothy said :

Do you guys come out and seal up windows? I’ve noticed a bunch of gaps around our aluminum frame windows – i.e. after the glass has been inserted, the plastic bits that hold it in place and seal the little gaps around the frame don’t all meet up so there are some windows that are quite drafty.

Go buy a few tubes of V60 and a caulking gun. Smear it in the gaps. Although the gaps in the frame and gaskets is probably not the cause of thermal loss, its the 3mm float glazing and the old 1.6mm aluminium extrusion.

Draft is probably coming through were the bricks and aluminium frame meets. Go to one steel or ullrich or maybe even bunnings and get some 20 x 20 L angle and glue that down the outside sides.
Your only real option that will make a actual difference is new double glazing.

AlexanderWatson 5:29 pm 13 Sep 13

Mothy said :

Do you guys come out and seal up windows? I’ve noticed a bunch of gaps around our aluminum frame windows – i.e. after the glass has been inserted, the plastic bits that hold it in place and seal the little gaps around the frame don’t all meet up so there are some windows that are quite drafty.

We sure do. Older aluminium windows are notorious for air leakage and your issue is one we come across fairly often. More than happy to come out and give you some DIY ideas and/or a quote for us to seal them up for you.

Mothy 10:21 am 13 Sep 13

Do you guys come out and seal up windows? I’ve noticed a bunch of gaps around our aluminum frame windows – i.e. after the glass has been inserted, the plastic bits that hold it in place and seal the little gaps around the frame don’t all meet up so there are some windows that are quite drafty.

miz 11:00 pm 12 Sep 13

Thanks for the info guys.

AlexanderWatson 2:13 pm 11 Sep 13

davo101 said :

…should buy a bath mat.

Haha this is true, slippers would work too I suppose…

wildturkeycanoe 2:04 pm 11 Sep 13

davo101 said :

AlexanderWatson said :

people who don’t want chilly feet on bathroom tiles in Winter

…should buy a bath mat.

Or install slab heating, very energy efficient, NOT!

davo101 1:28 pm 11 Sep 13

AlexanderWatson said :

people who don’t want chilly feet on bathroom tiles in Winter

…should buy a bath mat.

AlexanderWatson 12:55 pm 11 Sep 13

What wildturkeycanoe said is 100% correct and whilst I know of clients that have fitted draftstoppas over tastics without any issue, its best to stick to the recommendations. Unless you want to wire the tastic so the fan comes on with the heat lamps (which it would do in a correctly wired new eco tastic anyway), your only other real option is to look at draught proofing the bathroom door so you can shut off the entire room to prevent heat loss in that area.

Note that this is is a very energy efficient solution but not the best for people who don’t want chilly feet on bathroom tiles in Winter 🙂

wildturkeycanoe 8:02 am 11 Sep 13

miz said :

I haven’t installed a draft stoppa on my tastic because we sometimes use the heat lamps without the fan. Is there a tech solution to this?

The draft stopper units are great for keeping creepy crawlies from dropping onto unsuspecting victims as well, but if you do install a draft stopper then you must make sure the heat lamps don’t turn on without the fan running, or you might end up with a melt-down of the entire unit.

The standard for Tastics presently is that you cannot run the heat lamps without the fan, and when the heat lamps are turned off the fan continues to run for a length of time until the heat has dissipated. This is all done through the wiring of the unit. Of course, older heat lamps don’t have this function but an electrician can wire the switch quite simply so that the heat lamps will only turn on when the fan is running, if desired. Newer units have to have a permanent supply wired to them, which when retro-fitting can be an issue for the installer as an extra wire needs to be run from the switch to the Tastic [can be a pain in the buttocks in older houses].

miz 8:15 pm 10 Sep 13

I haven’t installed a draft stoppa on my tastic because we sometimes use the heat lamps without the fan. Is there a tech solution to this?

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